Supply Chain Issues Threaten Corporate Mobility What You Need to Know

Supply Chain Issues Threaten Corporate Mobility: What You Need to Know

One of the major things disrupted by the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic has been the global supply chain. Every industry has experienced shortages or delays of goods and materials crucial to their operations. The unavoidable ripple effect of this problem has been felt across the world, impacting anyone and everyone in numerous ways.

How Has the Pandemic Impacted the Global Supply Chain?

According to the United Nations Statistics Division, China accounts for more than 28% of the world’s manufacturing goods. Even the slightest hiccup in China’s output can be felt across the globe. In the early months of the pandemic, we could see a significant number of manufacturing shutdowns throughout the country, which led to massive shortages in nearly all vertical markets. Almost two years later, shortages of important items like semiconductors remain, and it continues to plague appliance and tech companies and auto manufacturers.

Another significant area related to mobility that has been affected by supply chain disruptions is building materials. As a recent survey of home builders shows, 90% indicate a shortage of plywood and framing lumber. When such materials do become finally available, the prices rise substantially. Not only does this impede the number of new homes being built, but also the cost of new construction is up considerably as well

How Does Global Supply Chain Crisis Impacts Mobility?

There is not a single aspect of the global economy that is immune to the global supply chain crisis, and mobility is no exception. The shipping and logistics industry has experienced massive pressure due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ports worldwide have faced serious congestion and delays in getting shipments processed due to labor shortages and the growing consumer demand for items. 

A good example of this is the cargo delays at the Port of Los Angeles, which are expected to disrupt up to $90 billion in trade. A few months ago, 56 cargo ships were stuck off the California coast waiting to be unloaded. This is worsened by the rise in e-commerce, which has seen a massive surge in final-mile shipments that need to be delivered to people’s homes. 

An additional problem is a growing number of cyberattacks, as supply chain and transportation industries are way behind when it comes to cybersecurity. The lack of proper protection from cyberattacks and advanced hacking methods combine to make a serious threat to supply chain and transportation networks. All of this has prolonged the shipment processes, especially for international transport. 

In late 2020, the troubles with the housing market began as it became incredibly competitive for people to buy a home. The median price of a house is up more than 16% compared to 2020. But this is not the only problem. The homes are rapidly going off the market as buyers try to beat rapidly rising mortgage rates. This is driven by a number of factors:

  • Waves of first-time buyers – More Americans are reaching the median age to buy their first home;
  • Families relocating from big cities – As the remote work becomes the norm, more individuals and families are leaving bigger cities for areas with a lower cost of living and higher quality of life;
  • Not enough new construction – Due to the shortage of building materials, a small number of new houses are built to keep up with the market, which creates even more demand for resale homes;
  • Low inventory – As mentioned, there are simply fewer homes available for purchase. According to data from Realtor, the number of homes for sale dropped 53% between 2020 and 2021.

How Does Supply Chain Disruption Threaten Mobility?

Given the growing demand for homes, relocating employees are having no trouble selling their existing properties. However, finding a new home is more difficult than ever. Homes are continually going way above the asking price, often followed by waivers to common safeguards like appraisals and inspections. This is making it difficult for relocating employees to find new homes when there’s a timeline to follow. The uncertainty and pressure that accompanies the current housing market can be detrimental to the successful onboarding of employees. That is why businesses should refine and enhance their benefits around temporary housing (such as longer stays and more amenities) and storage (more days of storage, larger spaces) that can minimize the pressure of finding a new home by a specific date.

Aside from difficulties with finding a new home, the relocation process has also seen additional challenges. The closing dates are sooner than in past years, which means people need to move out quickly. Because of the large numbers of people relocating and other capacity concerns, a lot of movers are extending loading and delivery date windows for their customers. However, this trend is at odds with people who are expecting to move or unload on an exact day.

Companies should help manage employees’ expectations around the relocation process by explaining market factors that could delay their move process and what accommodations their company can make to neutralize any problems that may subsequently arise. If a company has a relocation partner, they should communicate with them early and often about their planned employee relocations.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, so do complications and challenges facing companies. Regarding corporate mobility, problems persist around readily available housing and shipment times, which businesses should account for ahead of any planned employee relocations. 

At Corporate Relocation Today, we are always happy to help you with your relocation needs, and we understand the complexities of employee relocation inside and out. Please feel free to contact Shawn Elledge, Executive Director of Corporate Relocation Today for help with your employee relocation efforts at

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